Oenothein health benefit, information and review
February 1 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Oenothein is a tannin found in a number of herbs. The natural product oenothein B, a dimeric macrocyclic ellagitannin, has a wide range of biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antifungal, and antitumor. As of 2016, I could not find human studies with Oenothein B supplements.

Antifungal activity
Oenothein B interferes with the cell morphology of the fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis,the causative agent of paracoccidioidomycosis, the most prevalent human systemic mycosis in Latin America.

Some herbs that have oenothein
Epilobii angustifolii herb (fireweed) contains oenothein B
Eucalyptus consideniana and Eucalyptus viminalis
Eugenia uniflora has oenothein B
Myrtus communis herb has oenothein B, eugeniflorin D, tellimagrandins, two related polyphenolic compounds gallic acid quinic acid 3,5-di-O-gallate, and several myricetin glycosides.
Willow herb has oenothein B, which appears to have 5-alpha-reductase inhibitory activity.

Oenothein for hair loss and prostate health?
Inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase and aromatase by the ellagitannins oenothein A and oenothein B from Epilobium species.
Planta Med. 1997. Ducrey B, Marston A, Göhring S, Hartmann RW, Hostettmann K. Institut de Pharmacognosie et Phytochimie, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.
Species of the genus Epilobium have been investigated for their activity against 5 alpha-reductase and aromatase, two enzymes which are involved in the aetiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Activity-guided fractionation has led to the identification of two macrocyclic ellagitannins, oenothein A and oenothein B, as the main constituents responsible for the inhibition of the two enzymes. Quantitation of oenothein B in 10 different species of Epilobium has shown that amounts of up to 14% in the crude plant extracts are possible.

Immune effect
Immunomodulatory activity of oenothein B isolated from Epilobium angustifolium.
J Immunol. 2009; Schepetkin IA, Kirpotina LN, Jakiw L, Jutila MA, Quinn MT. Departments of Veterinary Molecular Biology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA.
Epilobium angustifolium has been traditionally used to treat of a number of diseases; however, not much is known regarding its effect on innate immune cells. In this study, we report that extracts of E. angustifolium activated functional responses in neutrophils and monocyte/macrophages. Activity-guided fractionation, followed by mass spectroscopy and NMR analysis, resulted in the identification of oenothein B as the primary component responsible for phagocyte activation. Oenothein B, a dimeric hydrolysable tannin, dose-dependently induced a number of phagocyte functions in vitro, including intracellular Ca(2+) flux, production of reactive oxygen species, chemotaxis, NF-kappaB activation, and proinflammatory cytokine production. Furthermore, oenothein B was active in vivo, inducing keratinocyte chemoattractant production and neutrophil recruitment to the peritoneum after intraperitoneal administration. Biological activity required the full oenothein B structure, as substructures of oenothein B (pyrocatechol, gallic acid, pyrogallol, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid) were all inactive. The ability of oenothein B to modulate phagocyte functions in vitro and in vivo suggests that this compound is responsible for at least part of the therapeutic properties of E. angustifolium extracts.

Oenothein B inhibits the expression of PbFKS1 transcript and induces morphological changes in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis.
Med Mycol. 2007. Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brazil.
The fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is the causative agent of paracoccidioidomycosis, the most prevalent human systemic mycosis in Latin America. Drug toxicity and the appearance of resistant strains have created the need to search for new therapeutic approaches. In this work, the growth of P. brasiliensis yeast cells was evaluated in the presence of oenothein B extracted from Eugenia uniflora. To verify if oenothein B interferes with cell morphology, we observed oenothein B-treated yeast cells by electron microscopy. The micrographs showed characteristic cell changes noted with glucan synthesis inhibition, including squashing, rough surface, cell wall rupture and cell membrane recess. The expression of P. brasiliensis genes was evaluated in order to investigate the action of oenothein B. Here we report that oenothein B inhibits 1,3-beta-glucan synthase (PbFKS1) transcript accumulation. The results indicate that oenothein B interferes with the cell morphology of P. brasiliensis, probably by inhibiting the transcription of 1,3-beta-glucan synthase gene, which is involved in the cell wall synthesis.

Int J Mol Sci. 2013. Oenothein B Suppresses Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced Inflammation in the Mouse Brain.

Oenothein B is found in many herbs including
Epilobii angustifolii herb, also called willow herb.
Eugenia uniflora herb